Networking for a job
Networking for a job is so important to your job search that it deserves to have a great deal of your attention. Don’t underestimate its importance
Research shows that a large number of jobs are found by networking. Some estimates say at least 60% of all jobs secured are through a network.
Make a Plan
Your networking plan should include setting aside a specific amount of time each day. It is important to network regularly. Some suggestions for your networking sources should include friends, family, neighbors, college alumni, association members and former co-workers.
Plan on attending networking events such as breakfasts, happy hour, conferences, lectures, chamber meetings and association presentations. You can find many events online by searching on www.meetup.com, www.eventbrite.com and industry organization websites.
It is important to be prepared and to have specific goals. Preparation should include researching the event details and attendees. Specific goals might include items such as introducing yourself to four people and using your 30-second elevator pitch. Bring business cards that include your phone number, email and website if you have one.
While meeting people at a networking event you should remember to never ask directly for an interview and to never ask directly for a job, you are not a salesperson making a pitch. You should be introducing yourself to those who are new to you, asking for their advice or for insight that they can offer.
- Treat everyone with respect.
- If there is someone new you would like to meet, ask for an introduction.
- Be prepared with your resume but do not offer it unless requested.
- You should definitely not be glued to your cell phone, turn on the do not disturb function.
- Always be listening and paying attention to opportunities.
After any events or networking meetings always remember to follow-up. Either by sending a LinkedIn connection request or a ‘thank you’ email you’ll be fortifying that connection. If you want to make a lasting impression send a personalized thank you note via the post office.
Networking for a job is so important to your job search that it deserves to have a great deal of your attention. The return should make the effort well worth the investment of time. Finding the right job for your next career move is important and, in the end, networking can not only help you find that right job but will also bring you some lifelong connections that will be invaluable.
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